Letter to the editor: Tipton and guns

The second amendment reads, “"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." It is part of the Bill of Rights. Times were different then. The federal government did not have the largest military budget in the world, dwarfing the next eight largest spending countries combined. Instead it relied on the civilian militias of the various states. This situation is long passed.

Justice Scalia wrote the majority opinion in the Supreme Court case “District of Columbia v. Heller”. That ruling found that the Second Amendment did give Americans an individual right to own firearms. While the court said a ban on handguns in private homes went too far, it also stated that regulation of gun ownership was compatible with the Second Amendment! Thus individual ownership of weapons of war may well be regulated even with the second amendment.

Representative Tipton does not understand this. His argument that we must protect the second amendment at all costs, including the cost of lives of children, is wrong.

Tipton not only seems to think individual ownership of ANY weapon one wants should be protected, he has pushed repeatedly to make guns easier to obtain and carry by anyone. He backs legislation to force states to respect any other state's concealed carry license—thus initiating a race to the bottom whereby the concealed carry law of the most lenient state in the union would have to be law of the land. He voted for legislation signed into law by President Trump that repeals an Obama-era rule requiring the Social Security Administration to send records of some beneficiaries to the federal firearms background check system after they’ve been deemed mentally incapable of managing their financial affairs. Yet Tipton claims in his email dated March 4, 2018 that we must work “to better [ensure] guns are kept out of the hands of dangerous or unwell individuals...” It seems to me he is saying one thing and doing another.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2015 36,252 persons died from injury by firearms in the United States. [National Vital Statistics Reports-Deaths Final Data for 2015] That comes to 99 Americans killed daily. The U.S. represents less than 5 percent of the 7.3 billion global population but accounted for 31 percent of global mass shooters from 1966 to 2012, more than any other country (WSJ, 2/15/18 Joe Palazzolo and Alexis Flyn). And it is only getting worse....

Since his election in 2008, Tipton has done NOTHING to lessen gun deaths in this country. Tipton claims to be a lifelong member of the NRA. He has an A rating from it. His unwillingness to change his gun views, even when confronted with the massive death such a view is allowing, is appalling. Tipton is choosing a murderous ideology over the lives of our children and others.

Since the Parkland shooting, and now another in Maryland, three-quarters of Americans think gun laws should be more strict than they are today. It is long past time for better representation and leadership by our representative in Congress. Tipton has to go!

Paul Wolfram



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